Certificate in Pastoral Care
Online classes begin November 17. Early registration discount available until November 7.

Pastoral Care is a means of providing comfort to those suffering as a result of life's challenges, including long-term or life-limiting illness, death of a loved one, separation and divorce, or aging. The Pastoral Care professional certificate program provides practical suggestions and models both for the direct service of those suffering as they face their personal challenges, and for the development of parish programs. Participants will study the theological and spiritual foundations for the call to pastoral care ministry, and learn how to help others use their talents as part of a caring Christian community. 

Who Should Participate

The program is open to any and all interested in serving others, especially those who are giving time freely as well as for those who work on professional parish pastoral teams or in other ministerial settings. Those who have already been active in pastoral ministry for some time will find that this program offers a refreshing perspective and source of continuing growth.

Program Benefits

The program provides practical suggestions and models both for the direct service of those suffering as they face their personal challenges, guidance for the development of parish programs, an exploration of the theological and spiritual foundations for the call to pastoral care ministry, and pastoral methods for using one’s talents as part of a caring Christian community. Students will explore the theological and scriptural basis for ministry and pastoral care, and the fundamentals of care for people experiencing physical, spiritual and psychological suffering. This includes:

  • Ministry in times of illness, death and bereavement
  • Blessings and challenges of ministering to and with the elderly
  • Detention ministry and the care of victims of crime and domestic violence

Students will also study the sacraments as a place of contact with family issues, and ministry for all people with attention to socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic and gender differences. Those who successfully complete the program will be to:

  • Articulate a clear definition and scope of pastoral care and pastoral practice
  • Nurture a life of prayer and emotional well-being, including ethical ministerial practice, balance of life, time management, best practices in listening and problem-solving skills
  • Recognize, assess and properly assign appropriate ministerial service to a variety of special populations in parish and Catholic service settings
  • Understand the needs of those with whom they minister and serve in order to make referrals and/or provide services
  • Develop assessments to determine pastoral needs in a parish setting
  • Organize parish-based pastoral care programs, including discernment, recruitment and formation of ministers
  • Respectfully minister in a variety of intercultural settings

Credit from this program may be applicable to catechist certification at the discretion of the certifying diocese. Please be sure to check with the appropriate diocesan office to confirm that this program qualifies for credit towards certification or recertification.

General Information

Course and program requirements, schedules and tuition are subject to change; and additional fees may be incurred for books and materials. Click here to review all policies prior to enrollment. For additional information, contact the Center for Religion and Spirituality at (310) 338-2799 or crs@lmu.edu.

  • Begins: November 17, 2020

    Enroll: Via the online course catalog or call 310-338-2799

    • Early Registration Discount. Register by November 7 and receive a $75 discount (discount cannot be applied to $150 minimum payment to register).

    Course: PSCX 907

    Tuition: $664 | A minimum payment of $150 is required to register for this program. Financial support is available through the LMU Match. Limited tuition assistance is also available for those who qualify; request a Tuition Assistance Application.

  • Course meets online in 10 synchronous (scheduled) sessions as listed below and  weekly asynchronous modules. The first scheduled session on November 17, 2020 is the only class that meets on a Tuesday, 7-10 p.m. Thereafter, classes meet on the following Wednesdays, 7-10 p.m.:

    • December 2
    • December 16
    • January 6, 2021
    • January 27
    • February 17
    • March 10
    • March 31
    • April 21
    • May 5

    Connecting Online

    MyLMU is the primary Internet-based portal for students, faculty and staff at Loyola Marymount University. Once you log in to the portal with your credentials, you can directly and securely access the various online learning platforms, including Brightspace and Zoom, and your student record. Click here to begin.

  • Students must complete a total of 5.0 semester hours in coursework with a letter grade of 'B-' or higher in each course to receive a certificate of completion. Please refer to the course catalog for required text, class meeting location, and other general information.

    Coursework: PSCX 905/906/907/908

  • PSCX 905/906/907/908
    Pastoral Care
    5.0 Semester Hours

    Pastoral Care is a means of providing comfort to those suffering as a result of life's challenges, including long-term or life-limiting illness, death of a loved one, separation and divorce, or aging. This course will examine models and methods for the direct service of those suffering, guidance for the development of parish programs, and theological and spiritual fundamentals of care for people experiencing physical, spiritual and psychological suffering. This includes ministry at times of illness, death and bereavement; blessings and challenges of ministering to and with the elderly; and, detention ministry and the care of victims of crime and domestic violence.